Assaults in entrance checkpoints to San Miguel

Assaults in entrance checkpoints to San Miguel

San Miguel de Allende has become a safe tourist destination since it was awarded the “Travel Safety Stamp” by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Given the imminent arrival of tourists to the municipality following the “new normal”, the municipal government installed COVID-19 checkpoints that among other things screen visitors coming into San Miguel for COVID, taking visitors’ temperature and asking for their restaurant or hotel reservations essential requirements to enter the city. 


We interviewed Jesús, a member of the staff of one of the checkpoints. He told us what his work entails: “We have to get to the office at 8:00 in the morning, to be here (at the checkpoint) at 8:30 at the latest. The relay arrives at 2:30 p.m. and we leave until approximately 7:30 p.m., depending on the traffic.” 


The installation of these checkpoints or filters at the entrances to the city (from Celaya or Querétaro,) have caused aggressive behavior from locals and visitors; even some of them attacking the checkpoint employees: “Some of them respond bat with aggression, insults, hit and runs… The other day a colleague had his foot hurt. “


These checkpoints have also been successful in detecting people who drive while intoxicated. Last Sunday, they arrested a driver who tried to circumvent the checkpoint to San Miguel coming in from Celaya. The checkpoint workers had to stand in front of the vehicle to prevent it from fleeing, endangering their life.


Due to the mishaps against the employees, elements of the local police department now guard the COVID checkpoints.


“Many complain that they come from Celaya, that they come to visit a relative, but we say no, from there the aggression begins” said Jesus.


Given the need to improve the efficiency of the filters, the hotel or restaurant reservation became a mandatory requirement, “they have to show the digital or printed reservation, if not, they cannot enter,” explained Jesus.


But now a QR code is required to demonstrate that there is a reservation. The QR code is issued by restaurants and hotels certified by the municipality.


“We had a meeting, where it was stablished that visitors must show their hotel or restaurant QR reservation in order to enter to San Miguel. With the QR code once checked,  it cannot be used again, so there is no way to cheat their entrance to San Miguel again,” Jesus pointed out.


With these new measures, the aim is to keep San Miguel as a safe destination and improve safety and hygiene protocols.


According to data from the Guanajuato Secretary of Health, San Miguel de Allende remains one of the municipalities with the lowest number of active cases (39).